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How to make a funeral feel more personal

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Planning a funeral is no easy feat and with a long list of things to organise while you’re adjusting to life without your loved one, it can feel like a monumental task. If the deceased was older, or their death was expected, they may have created a funeral plan. However, this isn’t always the case, particularly if the death happened suddenly.

Traditionally, the guests wear black, the music is sorrowful, and the coffin is transported in a sleek, black hearse. But what if you want to shy away from tradition? While a funeral is of course a chance to mourn the loss of your loved one, it should also be a celebration of their life, and a celebration will always have the most impact when it feels personal to the individual.

Here, we outline some suggestions to add a personal touch to a funeral.

Memory board

Creating a memory board to highlight some special moments in the life of your loved one is a lovely way to commemorate the occasion. Choose photos from happy moments, like a wedding day or a graduation, as well as candid family photos. If friends and family are featured in the photos, you may want to ask their permission to display these, as they may find them upsetting to see.

Creative transport

The traditional transport for a funeral is a black limousine or a hearse, but if you want to make the occasion unique to your loved one, there are plenty of out-of-the-box transportation methods you could choose instead. Consider what would feel right for the person who’s passed. For example, for the funeral of a retired firefighter, a fire engine would feel much more personal and nostalgic.

Personalised booklets

A thoughtful way to add a personal touch to a funeral is to create a printed booklet to give your guests at the event. Choose a design which feels unique to your loved one and fill the pages with things to remind your guests of them. If the deceased had a favourite poem or limerick, you could include that, along with photos and stories or anecdotes from their past.

Incorporate colour

Wearing black to a funeral has long been a tradition, but there’s no reason you can’t buck the trend. Encouraging your guests to wear colour will make the day feel more personal to the deceased, particularly if they appreciated colourful things. If your loved one had a favourite colour, you could ask your guests to incorporate that into their outfits and opt for flowers and decorations to match too.

A unique playlist

Funerals often feature sombre hymns, which can create a dismal atmosphere for the hosts and the guests. If you want to create a funeral which feels special and appropriate for your loved one, avoid the sad songs and play cheerful, uplifting pieces instead. You could also include some of the deceased’s favourite songs, though be sure to consider these carefully. For example, Queen’s “Another one bites the dust” wouldn’t be the most tactful choice.

Photo by Artsy Vibes on Unsplash

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